It was a tale of two halves. Hamilton went into the locker room at halftime up 20-17. That was where the good times ended. I don't know if complacency set in, but the Cats came out flatter than flat in the second half and lost the game because of it.
The talk all week was about Receivers. What better place to start than with the man who replaced Arland Bruce in Hamilton's starting lineup, Aaron Kelly. Kelly played a very good game and showed why the team has so much faith in him. The rookie out of Clemson made a couple of excellent catches, and his future looks very bright.
In only six games, Dave Stala has tied his single-season high of six touchdowns. He has 12 games left to play and is on pace for 18 TDs. I doubt he gets to 18, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets double digits for the first time in his career.
A lot of things went wrong for the Cats, especially in the second half, but the TSN Turning Point just might have been the 15-yard penalty that Jason Jimenez took late in the second quarter. That penalty cost Hamilton dearly, as it took them from first-and-10 from inside the 25-yard line to first-and-25 from around the 30. The Cats couldn't move the ball and had to settle for a field goal to go up 20-13. Without that penalty, which wiped out a nice play by Avon Cobourne, it is possible that the Cats score a TD there and make it 24-13. Jimenez's penalty was stupid, senseless and completely selfish. Completely unnecessary.
Speaking of the Offensive Line: did they forget how to run block? Cobourne was fighting for every yard, getting next to no help from the hogs up front. They pass blocked very effectively, but their run blocking left more than a lot to be desired.
The play calling on Offense in the second half was questionable at best. The Cats did a good job of taking what Calgary was giving them in the first two quarters, but then inexplicably went away from that in the third and fourth quarters. The worst was with about four minutes left to play, and starting on their own one-yard line, the Ti-Cats were building a nice drive by getting six to eight yards at a time, and then on second and five, Glenn throws a bomb. The underneath stuff was working, and the Cats had plenty of time to use it.
The Defense was on the field way too much, but that doesn't excuse why they made no adjustments to stop the short swing passes that Calgary masterfully used to beat the pressure Hamilton was sending. Corey Chamblin has had a great first year as Defensive Coordinator, but he needed to see that problem and adjust to it. He didn't, and the Cats couldn't get Calgary off the field.
One last thing: it looked to me like Marcus Thigpen was very tentative out there tonight. He didn't hit the holes with any tenacity and danced around way too much. I don't know if it was him or if the holes simply weren't there, but Thigpen did not have a good game.
This was a tough loss, but this was a tough game. Winning in Calgary isn't easy for anyone (even if this was Calgary's first win at home in 2011), so to lose this one isn't the end of the world. The win was there for the Cats, but it slipped through their figures.
With this one in the books, the focus turns to Week 7. Oh, yes, Week 7. The Argos are in town for the first, and only, time this season. With the Labour Day matchup taking a one-year hiatus (I hope), this will be the only time for fans to pack Ivor Wynne Stadium and jeer the Argos.
That was a tough loss to swallow, because it could have just as easily been a win. Instead, it's a loss, and the Cats have lost ground on both Montreal and Winnipeg. In the end, the Cats lost, but it was mistakes they made that caused the loss. Mistakes that are easily correctable. This is not meant to take anything away from Calgary, as they earned the win; however, Hamilton could have won this game, if not for some boneheaded decisions by coaches and players.